There’s no denying it: many younger children struggle with math and grow disinterested in the subject as they get older. There are many different factors that contribute to this decline in interest in math, but many agree that much of it has to do with the way we treat math in general. As discussions on Quora have pointed out, many children actually acquire their dislike of math from their parents and educators. When they see their parents disinterested and struggling with the subject, kids tend to take on the same attitudes, creating a culture of dislike for math, and setting the kids up for failure.
As many educators have found, however, the best way to introduce math concepts to their kids is through activities that they’re interested in. These days, many writers and educators have found a way to introduce math through art and literature, and through activities that help kids actually dig into the subjects. Of course, as Tootsa founder Kate Pietrasik points out in a blog post, “Combining art and maths is, of course, not a new concept. Throughout history, artists, scientists, and philosophers have been fascinated by the relationship.” Everyone from Ancient Egyptian sculptors to Italian Renaissance painters have turned to math to help them better their craft, and your kids can also learn mathematical concepts through art and other creative means.
Here are three books that can do just that:
1. Bump It!
Kim Sutton’s range of books have always been known to help kids understand math through its playful uses, and Bump It! is an excellent example of fun, creative math at work. Through the book, kids will learn to strengthen their counting skills, knowledge of basic mathematical operations, and even understand proportional reasoning with fractions, geometry, and money. It’s also quite easy to use the book, no matter what environment, as instructions are easy to follow.
2. This is Not a Maths Book
Anna Weltman’s This is Not a Maths Book is a great way to help kids who are on the creative side understand math concepts. Using simple activity instructions, math ideas are revealed to young readers, “From simple geometric patterns to fascinating fractal art, to awesome anamorphic art, and cool celtic knots”.
3. Snowflake Seashell Star: Colouring Adventures in Numberland
After writing Alex’s Adventures in Numberland, in which he discovers the relevance of math in our everyday lives – something even us adults will probably benefit from knowing – Alex Bellos has created Snowflake Seashell Star: Colouring Adventures in Numberland, a wonderful coloring book that explores the different geometric patterns from around the world. Suited for more advanced learners, the book also teaches about proportion and other mathematical concepts.
Exclusively written for Zeno